Minivans tend to appeal to growing families; they’ve enjoyed a rep for being the ultimate family vehicle. These practical haulers are spacious and offer convenience, and sadly, there are fewer models to choose from these days. Scorned by a few but beloved by many, minivans still occupy a cozy place in the hearts of those who need to shuttle and carry cargo. One minivan that is incredibly good at its job is the 2020 Toyota Sienna.
The Sienna, an old-timer, has been a practical choice throughout the years. The once “Swagger Wagon” has continued to evolve to meet the needs of families. Even though its Japanese automaker has not kept up the minivan’s aesthetics as much as it should have to compete with the youngins, the Sienna still packs quite a wallop when it comes to everything it offers like its segment-exclusive all-wheel drive, one-size-practically-fits-all roominess, noteworthy safety ratings, car-like handling and to top it off, Toyota’s rep for A-1 reliability.
There are five main trim levels of the Sienna: L, LE, SE, XLE, and Limited. Stepping inside the Sienna’s attractive cabin, passengers will immediately notice the vehicle’s roominess and nice design cues. Second-rowers will especially love the fact that they can actually stretch their legs out. The up to 8-passenger seating all around, hands-down, will make any road trip more enjoyable. Rear seating is not only generous but easy to access, and the third row is adult-friendly.
There is great news for the disabled or more seasoned set; the LE and XLE trims offer mobility-enhanced seating or an Auto Access Seat for easier ingress and egress. Designed as a second-row bucket seat, it is power-operated and rotates 90 degrees. The seat extends from the vehicle, lowers itself through the power sliding middle-row passenger door, and is lowered to the ground for boarding. The seat, which has a lift capacity of 330 pounds, comes with adjustable armrests and footrest. On the cargo front, with all seats in place, the Sienna affords a best-in-class 39.1 cubic feet of space. Fold the 60/40-split rear bench into its well, and that figure increases to 87.1 cubic feet.
Overall, the wide driver-centric dash is easy to reach, well-marked, and there are no guessing games with regards to its control’s operation. There are five USB ports, and storage bins are peppered throughout the vehicle’s cabin. The Sienna also offers Apple CarPlay and Android connectivity. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment with Toyota’s Entune interface is standard across the board. Every trim except the base L comes with a 4G LTE model with Wi-Fi connectivity. Just an aside, and something to consider if you have a brood or need to transport friends and fam, the all premium Sienna models include a rear-seat entertainment system with a 16.4-inch screen.
Toyota remains on terra firma safety-wise with its Toyota Safety Sense-P suite of active and passive systems. The safety bundle includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, lane tracing assist, road sign assist, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. Best of all, its standard. The Star Safety System is a standard suite of safety features that includes enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock braking, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, and smart stop technology.
The Sienna trims all come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 296 horses and 263 lb-ft of torque; it has the most powerful engine in its segment. While maneuvering the minivan (the SE), you tend to forget that it is not a sedan! The Sienna’s ride is really refined, comfortable, carlike. It provides more than enough acceleration, smooth highway cruising, and confident braking. The tall position of the seating also allows for a commandeering view of the road, which is a plus, especially when driving a minivan. The Sienna also has a surprisingly great turning radius. The EPA rates the Sienna at 19 mpg/city and 27 mpg/highway.
Many would agree that minivans aren’t necessarily exciting, but when it comes to functionality and ease of use, the 2020 Toyota Sienna is the best box on wheels! What you can be sure of when considering a Sienna is that there is an emphasis on safety, quality, performance, and reliability. The Sienna is one refined alternative to the family haulers on the market, definitely one to peep!
Pricing starts at $31,565. Need more info? www.Toyota.com